Making Guelph Transit work for you

What would it take to encourage you to take the bus instead of driving your car?

There is has been considerable focus on climate change since Al Gore’s movie Inconvenient Truth was released last year. Clearly, we as a society will have to make major changes to our lifestyle to reduce our carbon footprint. One of the key changes will be in transportation. Many of our daily trips are with one person in a car traveling less than 5km. Can these trips be made by public transit?

Recently University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee sent a wish list to City Hall. “The university’s students, faculty and staff are the highest-volume users of public transit in the city,” he said. “The university — and other large employers in the City of Guelph — believe that usage would further increase if Guelph Transit were to provide an affordable bus pass for employees.”

Linamar, Guelph’s largest employer with over 6,500 employees, would also like to see improvements to public transit. Some of their factories are not even on a bus route. Some employees have to “walk one kilometre from the bus stop to work” Linamar stated in a recent presentation to city councillors. “At the end of a 12 hour shift, a one km walk is the last thing our employees want”.

Linamar is growing fast and needs more land to build new factories. A lot of their land is currently used for employee parking. If improved public transit encourages more of their employees to take the bus, then Linamar could build new plants in the newly vacanted parking lots.

Currently the buses run on a radial grid system meeting twice an hour in the Downtown. Guelph Transit has added a new perimeter service with regular shuttles running to the University. Is this the best model for a modern growing city?

What do you think? What improvements need to be made to Guelph’s public transit system so that you will ride the bus? What do you like best about the buses? What is worst?

Bicycle racks anyone?